Rand Paul: Tea Party Ready to "Flex Some Muscle"

While critics cast the Tea Party movement as a fad and a flash in the pan, Tuesday's Republican Senate primary in Kentucky might prove to naysayers that they indeed are a legitimate force and their backing of Dr. Rand Paul has propelled him as the front-runner for what is usually a ho-hum race.

Watch the video at left or here.

Paul joined CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante on Tuesday's "Washington Unplugged" and explained this isn't an issue of Republican vs. Democrat but a referendum on the out of control spending from both parties in Washington.

"Neither party has controlled the debt very well and neither party has controlled spending," he said. "So I think the Tea Party is about bringing government back to its senses and a lot of the things we talk about are a chastisement to both parties."

He insists, though that the aim of the Tea Party movement isn't to isolate the other parties and that, in fact, he shares some ideals with Democrats.

"I think the interesting thing is that a lot of the things the Tea Party talk about are very popular with Democrats and Independents. We talk about term limits... You poll a balanced budget amendment you find than an enormous amount of Independents and Democrats support term limits and balanced budget," he said.

As Plante noted, Paul sounded quite confident of victory in today's vote.

"We can't anticipate anything but victory," Paul said. "We've worked very hard. The Tea Party rallies have been enormous all across the state. I think the Tea Party is ready to flex some muscle and this will be the first example of a state wide election where the Tea Party has a chance to win."

Watch Tuesday's "Washington Unplugged" above which also features Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and a primary roundtable with CBS News' Anthony Salvanto and CBSNews.com's Brian Montopoli.

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"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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